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Thread: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

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    Flashaholic* roguesw's Avatar
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    Default Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Hi everyone, I see a lot of great pics on this forum and would like to get my feet wet in the world of SLR cameras.
    Could anyone recommend a good digital SLR camera to start learning with?
    My budget is about $1000 US (this includes price for lens and body)
    Cheers mate
    Des
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    I can't but here are three Video cameras that take still pictures and are rather impressive.
    Sony
    Sanyo
    JVC

    The ability to get pictures on both sides of when you press the release is a great idea.
    I would have got the shot of my dog with a "flower" behind his ear. He moved just as I hit teh release on the first shot and shook it off before I could get a second one.

    Now that these cameras are addressing the wide angle issue in their huge zoom range, the idea of something with interchangeable lenses is much less attractive.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Canon XSi Great camera, great features, easy to use. You can get the camera and 2 lenses for under a grand!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    There are some competent offerings by the major camera makers (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentex) but I have to agree with the Canon xsi (Rebel 450D). It has features that make it a higher level beginning DSLR and yes, you can get it with the kit 18-55IS (image stabilized) lens along with a 55-250IS lens for less then a grand. I have the Rebel xs which is a bit less robust in the feature departments then the xsi but I'm very happy with it and I got it with the kit 18-55IS lens for about $475.
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Flashaholic D.B.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    I work at a camera store, and I also have to say the Canon XSi kit is probably your best bet. A close second to that would be the Nikon D60 kit. There are a number of lenses you can get to compliment the 18-55mm that comes with either camera, one of which is a 55-200mm that each manufacturer has.
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    You might take a serious look at the Pentax K20D too. I think all the modern dSLRs are really excellent and it just comes down to personal preferences. You'll find plenty of praise for Canon and Nikon out there. The Pentax has IQ right on par with Canon and Nikon.

    Nikon's image-reduction algorithms seem to favor detail over noise, so images sometimes have a bit more digital noise to them, but with more detail. Of course you can always apply more noise-reduction in the computer if that's your preference.

    Similarly, the Pentax auto-exposure seems to refuse to blow out details (overexpose), so images can come out of the camera a bit underexposed. Plenty of headroom (Esp. if you shoot RAW) to brighten up in post.

    The things I really like about the Pentax is the control system is pretty quick to use. I was a bit concerned about that at first. Canon bodies have a dedicated button for _everything_ and the Pentax doesn't, but the Pentax system is pretty quick too.

    The build quality is superb. The camera feels very good in your hand and built to a high level of quality and durability.

    The K20D (and K200D) are also weather sealed, so no worries about if it gets splashed or sprinkled on.

    Pentax uses an in-body Shake-Reduction system, so instead of having to buy an IS-system with any lens you want to use (Canon, Nikon), any lens you slap onto the camera instantly has Shake-reduction.

    Furthermore, Pentax has been using the same lens mount for the past 30 years, so you have access to a huge huge huge range of old lenses, if you're into that kind of thing.


    Like I said at the beginning, the cameras all take great pictures, so I'd say pick the features and camera you like the most. If that's a Canon or Nikon, that's fine, but at least give the Pentax a look at...because I think they're great cameras and hugely underrated!
    Ryan

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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    It seems I can't submit a reply lately without forgetting at least 1 thing.

    Flickr Is your friend. You can go stick a tag in and find pictures of, and pictures taken by, a specific camera. Also check out the Camera Finder on flickr.

    If nothing else, /that/ shows me that the most important part of the camera is the hands it's in.
    Ryan

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    Flashaholic* roguesw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Hi guys, thanks so much for the recommendations and Saaby the photos on flickr with the cameras is a great idea.
    I will go check out the nikon and the pentax and the canon
    i have so much to learn and looking forward to trying it out.
    Cheers guys
    Des
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    Flashaholic* TONY M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    I have 3 Nikon SLRs and have used the Canon XSi (450d). I was much happier with the ergonomics, general handling and ease of use with the Nikons while the Canon had the edge in terms of absolute quality (over the entry level Nikons).

    The D90 is a smashing camera and has great image quality but may be out of you're price range.

    Really you can be happy with any modern DSLR they are all pretty good and knowing how to use what you have is much more important than what you have...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Since you are in Tokyo, you might consider getting a second hand Canon 30D or similar, and use the savings to invest in good glass.
    They have one in good condition for 36,750Yen (approx US$380) here.

    I'm using higher end Nikons now, but would choose a Canon for mid-prosumer class. Much less noise in higher ISO shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by roguesw View Post
    ... I see a lot of great pics on this forum ...
    If you are talking about the close ups of lights and parts, a p&s would be better as they can manage macro shots easily without needing another macro lens.

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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    The Nikon D90 is quite simply, pure awesomeness. But it is a little out of your price range. The Nikon D80 is very nearly as good as the D90 and you might be able to find it at clearance prices.

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    Moderator js's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    I have a Pentax K10D (the predecessor to the K20D) and I LOVE it. All the details are right and the thing is dust and weather sealed, which I really like. And it has a CCD shake cleaning system, which many other cameras lack. I haven't needed to use it yet, but it's nice to know I can if/when I see a spec of dust appear on my images. It's a joy to use, but it's not for someone who wants to mostly use the automatic setting. You won't get anywhere near the most out of it if you use the auto setting. It's for people who are a bit deeper into photography than that, so this doesn't bother me, but some have lamented the lack of a stellar auto mode. It's still decent, don't get me wrong, but IIRC the Nikon models and Cannon models have better auto modes.

    The K10D can take continuous jpegs at 3fps until the memory card fills up, which is pretty cool, but the K20D, which has the same image engine but more MP's, can't do this. Not really a problem, but just thought I'd mention it. Might by why the K10D's went UP in price in the months after the release of the K20D.
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    I kind of wished I had somehow ponied up the cash for a Nikon D90 largely because of the hugely useful 18-105 lens it comes with. At some point I'm going to look for some equivalency for my Canon XS which after the cost will narrow down the gap of just buying the D90 and lens to start with.

    Lens choice and future consideration of lens choice is highly important when choosing a DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by TONY M View Post

    The D90 is a smashing camera and has great image quality but may be out of you're price range.

    Really you can be happy with any modern DSLR they are all pretty good and knowing how to use what you have is much more important than what you have...
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Flashaholic* TONY M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by geepondy View Post
    Lens choice and future consideration of lens choice is highly important when choosing a DSLR.
    Absolutely, I should have mentioned this.

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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    plenty of choices with canon cameras

    I also recommend the XSi..
    with a macro lens =]

    you'll get great pictures that way.

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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    This is unfortunate you can't get real good macros with a DSLR unless you have a lens designed for it. I have my good ole' Canon S3 Powershot and I can put the lens right up against the object. I wonder what the design differences are so that is not possible with a DSLR?
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    I had posted this link in DPR comparing my Canon Elph Powershot 870 to my Rebel 1000D XS. Admittedly not a fair comparison but for those teeter tottering between a point and shoot and a DSLR it does show the differences. Of course as in the mantra of a true flashaholic, you want both as just like a flashlight, the best camera you have is the one that's with you.
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by geepondy View Post
    This is unfortunate you can't get real good macros with a DSLR unless you have a lens designed for it. I have my good ole' Canon S3 Powershot and I can put the lens right up against the object.
    I wasn't going to say anything, but now that you've brought up the S3 (haha)... I also have a Canon Powershot S3 IS, as well as a Nikon D70 DSLR. I do mostly cave/mine photography, and the S3 is so versatile that I never use the D70.

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    Flashaholic* Grox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Regardless of what camera you get, never forget that the most important thing is the photographer, not the camera. A great photographer will get incredible results with a mediocre camera - but a great camera does not make a mediocre photographer great.

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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Read this elsewhere today and thought it stated everything perfectly.

    Buy equipment on a "glove fits" basis, not a brand basis. Check out individual camera models regardless of the badge it carries.
    Ryan

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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by js View Post
    I have a Pentax K10D...
    +1

    This is a great camera. But what you must do first and foremost is go to a photo store and put each one of your potential choices IN YOUR HANDS. I promise you that if you don't like how the camera feels in your hands while you are taking pictures, you will not use it. Period.




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    Flashaholic* PEU's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    +1 for Pentax.

    Purchased a K100 body more than a year ago with a Sigma 18-200 lens and never looked back.


    Pablo

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    Flashaholic* bitslammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    I'm loving my Nikon D90 but for a little less $$$ the D40 is hgihly regarded.

    Here's a good site with great info: http://www.kenrockwell.com/

    This guy does amazing work on reviews and guides. In his opinion the D40 is still the best for value.

    He has plenty to say about all the major brands and models.


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    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by geepondy View Post
    This is unfortunate you can't get real good macros with a DSLR unless you have a lens designed for it. I have my good ole' Canon S3 Powershot and I can put the lens right up against the object. I wonder what the design differences are so that is not possible with a DSLR?
    So you want every single lens to have macro focus? That's just not how it works with DSLR's. If you want to do macro, you get a macro lens. There are some all in one lenses, but you often trade away sharpness, speed, etc, to have an all in one. You will get better results if you buy a lens that is made for a specific purpose.
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by bitslammer View Post
    I'm loving my Nikon D90 but for a little less $$$ the D40 is hgihly regarded.

    Here's a good site with great info: http://www.kenrockwell.com/

    This guy does amazing work on reviews and guides. In his opinion the D40 is still the best for value.

    He has plenty to say about all the major brands and models.
    The best, most unbiased site on the net. All his Pentax info - he admits - is copied from the official Pentax site.

    ***************

    Here's something even more important to think about Roguesw...do you want to learn to become a good photographer with a DSLR or do you want to turn a dial and let the automatic sports/landscape/portrait/macro/fireworks/etc settings do the work for you???

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* roguesw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Actually I am interested in learning how to use the features of the DSLR rather than using the auto features of the camera.
    I like fiddling with iso and settings on my current point and shoot and I have a photographer friend who always talk shop with me.
    So, I have never thought about owning a DSLR before but the tech geek in me just wants to learn it now.
    I just came back from playing with the range of cameras from Nikon, Pentax and Canon,
    the shop was great, i was able to handle the Nikon DX0 series as well as the D3 series and also the Canon 1D, 5D, 450(XSI) and the Pentax K20D.
    I learned from talking to the shop guy and reading on the net and talking to my friend is dont worry too much about the camera, try to shop around for a decent price,
    At the moment, I pretty much like any of the cameras from the Nikon and Canon range, and am shopping for a good deal with lens kits.
    Thanks for all the help so far, and KenRockwell's site is really informative.
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    If you narrow it down to a couple of cameras and are undecided, goto www.dpreview.com and read their reviews of the particular camera. Very in depth and I would say unbiased.
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by bitslammer View Post

    Here's a good site with great info: http://www.kenrockwell.com/
    Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that site before.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* bitslammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by vtunderground View Post
    Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that site before.
    It's funny because recently he's been on a very pro-film kick.

    While I agree with his assertions about the superiority of film I'm not goo enough yet to know absolutely that I've captured the shot to my liking. For me digital allows me to see what I've done wrong instantly and make the corrections.

    He's also got some great general guides and how to's on their. All in all I learened a ton from his site in short order.


  30. #30
    Flashaholic* TONY M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone recommend a decent Digital SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by vtunderground View Post
    Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that site before.
    Ken used to hate the full frame format until Nikon announced the D3, he then did a 180.

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